Derrick S. Vormawor – SYENET Student Entrepreneur of the Week

Derrick S. Vormawor

Seeking for greater heights in life is what motivates Derrick, who is currently the founder of 2 student-led businesses in Ghana.

Combining studying Banking and Finance with managing Platinum Africa Solutions and KEPT, Derrick has become a notable student startup entrepreneur taking the world by storm as a very passionate entrepreneur seeking for fulfilment in creating jobs across Africa and the world.

Our SYENet Entreprenur of the week is Derrick S. Vormawor

Brief Details:

Name: Derrick S. Vormawor

School: University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Accra

Course: BSc. Banking and Finance

Companies: Platinum Africa Solutions Ltd. & KEPT (edgy-luxury brand)

Year Started: 2015, 2016 respectively

 

 

SYENET: What inspired your entrepreneurial journey?

Derrick: With Platinum Africa Solutions, I believe it was my calling. The business idea just come to me like a vision and I made happen what I saw and I have never gone wrong with that.

I also have this strong urge to see things that I want, come to me. So if I want something and don’t get it out there the way I want it, I make it happen. And it was same urge that pushed me to start my new edgy-luxury brand KEPT because I was looking for particular things to use as a business person and I wasn’t getting it, and then I decided to make it.

SYENET: How did you raise your startup capital?

Derrick: As unfortunate as I was, I had nobody to help me with anything when I started. I started my consulting firm with a borrowed laptop and that formed the startup capital I had at the time. My father’s living room which also serves as my bedroom, and my bed became the first office complex for me. Subsequently, I made some good revenue which pushed me into my new venture, KEPT.

SYENET: What significant successes have you chalked so far in business?

Derrick: In 2016, I was named among top 100 student entrepreneurs in Ghana, had my story featured in the Future of Ghana Publication (UK), got invited to speak to a number of young people across the country and have seen the visible impacts. I have also been nominated for the Student Entrepreneur of the year in the 2017 Ghana Tertiary Leaders Awards.

However, the key successes I am so proud of and thankful to God for is for been able to consult for and help launch over ten viable businesses in Ghana, Nigeria and Israel. This I believe will create opportunities for a lot of people in the Diaspora and I am glad they are growing and enjoying some successes so far.

SYENET: How have you combined studies and work so successfully?

Derrick: At times my friends tease me that I go to school thrice in a semester! But, God has been my strength and I don’t waste time doing things I shouldn’t be doing in school. Once I am in school, I give it my 100% attention and always try to practice what I learnt from school in my work. It’s also not been easy because of the difference between the classroom lessons and the professional field but do I have a choice? I just need to be smart always.

SYENET: What challenges do you face as a Student Entrepreneur and how do you overcome them?

Derrick: The major challenge is the stereotype friends associate me with because, I run a business and make money. And because of my benevolence nature, I am always assisting friends with small loans which they most at times refuse to payback forgetting that I foot most of bills from my business. This frustrates me a lot because, I work so hard and have plans too. So I decided to only give when I personally have in excess and have also separated my personal finances from the companies. What belongs to the company doesn’t belong to me anymore. It’s now a Big deal!

SYENET: After School, what are your entrepreneurial plans?

Derrick: I can’t wait to graduate. Right now my companies and its clients are growing and we are looking forward to also expand into Kenya soon. I also want to further my studies in a Master of Business Creation and Entrepreneurship or International Business to broaden my business scope and delivery. Lastly, I would be spending more time giving back to the continent especially to the young people. So after school, it’s all about living the dream and making things happen.

SYENET: What supports do you need to scale up your business?

Derrick: If I get the right financial support, I would be doing some very wild things in my expansion strategies. I just know what to do with money. Aside from that, I need the opportunity to do some well-paying contracts in my lane of business for already existing companies. But let’s keep our fingers crossed.

SYENET: What are the top 5 lessons you have learnt in business so far?

Derrick:

  1. Never start your business without a business plan/business model because when your business starts growing, things change. People resign, people apply, clients give to pressure, more walk in but these shouldn’t break you. Learn to deal with it. This is business, It’s not a party!
  2. Spend time knowing your business and put more effort into building your business into a brand than just a company.
  3. Do not hire “employees”, rather build a “team”. A team will fight for you, laugh with you, cry with you and win with you. Most employees will not care about you and your business, they just want a monthly salary.
  4. Passion: do not go into a business you do not have a personal connection with. If you don’t love something, you won’t be able to sell it genuinely and that moment, you don’t sparkle.
  5. Have patience in business. Do not expect to make a billion in year one. Be grateful for what God puts on your table and learn to make the best out of it.

SYENET: What advice do you have for other students?

Derrick: There is more to life than just a degree. One thing school isn’t teaching us is; how to find ourselves and the need to live our purpose.

There is only one life. Would you live the most part of it being someone else? Wouldn’t you rather want to be genuinely happy after all?  Therefore go and find yourself and connect with your purpose; live it, share it and learn to do little things in GREAT ways! Charley, Live your wildest dreams now.

 

Are you a student entrepreneur shaping the world of business in School? Write to us through syenet@tanoe.org to get your story featured.